Defense ministers from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines finalized an agreement on trilateral maritime cooperation on Aug. 1, officially launching coordinated joint sea patrols in regional waters plagued by piracy and other threats, the Jakarta Post reported. The signing took place at a two-day trilateral defense ministers' meeting held in Bali. The initial agreement on maritime security was reached in Yogyakarta in May. Discussions reportedly centered on deploying security personnel to protect commercial ships passing through the Sulu archipelago, plus a system to allow naval vessels to enter another nation's territory. The officials also discussed cooperation on securing the release of sailors captured by Abu Sayyaf, a jihadist group operating primarily in the Philippines, and holding joint navy and army exercises and establishing a military post coordinating intelligence sharing and other forms of cooperation.